Our thoughts often turn to our families during holiday season. During recent holidays, I got to thinking about my mother, Mary. She died in 1988.
In my family’s Roman Catholic religious tradition, we had “wakes” when someone died. A wake consisted of displaying body in an open casket for several days before funeral mass and burial. Friends and family would come to pay their respects to dead one and her immediate family.
During my mother’s wake, two of my elderly cousins appeared one afternoon together. Giovanni and Giuseppe were brothers, and rather colorful Sicilian characters. They bustled into funeral home, rushing headlong to back room of building.
Kneeling before casket with bowed heads, they offered a silent prayer. As they rose to their feet, they looked, for first time, into casket. After exchanging long, shocked glances with each other, Giovanni finally blurted out, “That’s not Aunt Mary!”
Giovanni and Giuseppe had gone into wrong room. As it happened that day, there were two wakes at funeral home. The brothers had not bothered to check which room my mother’s wake was in.
Later on, we had a large dinner party to celebrate my mother’s life, as is Sicilian custom. And we all had a good laugh at Giovanni’s and Giuseppe’s colossal blunder.
On a more serious note, I got to thinking later about how often we do same thing my cousins did. Except we do it in our relationships with live human beings.
How often do we not even bother to look and see who this person before us is? We just plough thoughtlessly and blindly ahead, not caring enough to really look and see.
You live in a world today that often seems impersonal and uncaring. A world where individual seemingly counts for little. Even in your modern world of technology, marvelous and quick communication your technology affords you often becomes impersonal and uncaring.